The east end of Long Island inspires me. Its natural beauty and energy just lifts my soul. When I feel out of sorts just remembering why I choose to stay on the east end of Long Island centers me.
Being inspired is the key ingredient to reaching the highest levels of success. Individuals are inspired by many different things. Success also is measured by various indicators. The most prevalent measure is money. Yet, it was Thomas Jefferson himself who once said while he was President that he considered his brother Randolph more successful than himself. Jefferson reportedly said that his brother, Randolph, lived in a one room home in Virginia with his wife and six children and was the happiest man he knew.
Inspiration happens in many ways. Sometimes people believe there is a muse that brings out their magic, while others believe their inspiration comes from the works of the masters. The great artists, the legendary philosophers are inspiring, not to mention the endless volumes of great writings passed on over the ages. Finally for some people inspiration is a place. A place that brings out their ability to focus, think clearly, see things both inside and outside the box. For many that place is out on the east end.
I remember years back listening to G.W.U. Professor Lilien Robertson, lecturing about how artist William Merritt Chase loved to paint the east end landscapes. In fact, he founded the Shinnecock Hills School of art in 1891 that actuated outdoor painting. Have you ever noticed the special light just before sunset on the east end? Chase did and painted it over and over, capturing its effects on the dunes as well as the other east end topography. The point being there is a creative energy that flows throughout the east end.
Those who drive all over the east end as I do can’t help but notice how its subtle beauty always comes through. Meaning the farms right up to the sea, the quaint historic villages, not to mention the noble old homes and buildings. Who is surprised by the number of artists who live full time on the east end? Same goes for writers and musicians.
A new year is now at hand. A new start measuring time but also a continuation of life paths. As a sixty-something year old inspiration is important. How we feel determines how we eventually live our lives. So, living on the east end comes with a caveat. It is no wonder there has been a real estate boom on the east end during the worldwide uncertainty. Very successful people chose to buy on the east end, perhaps even overpay to get what they want. Former Southampton summer resident William Paley, the founder of the CBS network, understood many things. He is famous for saying that he found some of the best things he ever acquired in his lifetime were things he thought he overpaid for at the time.
That doesn’t mean one should overpay for stuff. What it can mean is don’t be afraid to pay a premium for what you really want long term. I have paid a huge personal price in order to enjoy the magic the east end gives me. Spending the last 17 years sailing weekly 8 months a year has without doubt cost me monetarily. Success is measured in other yardsticks besides money. There is the phrase, “pursuit of happiness.” Sailing, writing, and the love of an extraordinary woman have ended my “pursuit” and placed me in the land of happiness. I know this new year with all its built-in challenges can be my best year ever.